I first heard of Pete the Cat in 2008 or so. A local bookstore had a huge poster of the cat and books signed by the author. I did not understand the appeal and thought the writing and illustration was so crude and simple that anyone could do it. It made me think that I could write a children’s book if this thing could get published.
But I haven’t written a children’s book and not only did “I Love My White Shoes” get published, there are now 40+ titles in the Pete the Cat series. And regardless of my initial impressions, kids love it. They love the illustration style and the attitude of the main character, Pete, and they love the repetitive say-along style of the writing.
We have several of the books and frequently check others out of the library.
Pete the cat is now an icon with his own musical and his own TV show on Amazon Prime.
More about the series and the author and illustrator
This is a book that I thought would get ignored on the shelf, but the kids ask for it at bedtime every now and then.
I had thought the sentiment was too sappy, especially for the older ones, but I think there are two reasons they like it:
• The illustrations (Marcellus Hall) are a lot of fun, with lots of details to look at, and they help convey a sense of adventure: deep-sea diving, space travel, etc.
• When the kids have a frustrating day at school or with friends, or feel jealous of a sibling, they like a cuddle and a story that reminds them that they are loved, even though they wouldn’t admit it.
This is a good, solid bedtime book.
Some books become standard objects in the home, as familiar as a piece of furniture. And this is one of them. I couldn’t say why exactly because the story and illustrations are so simple, but perhaps that is part of the reason.
Regardless, this is one of the few books that many of us in the family will quote, even if months have passed since the most recent reading – the most popular quote being, “Duck for dinner?!?!?!?!”
The story is of a group of animal friends who are all afraid of the local dog, but it turns out that he’s actually nice. So the themes are of friendship, overcoming fear, and not judging someone solely on appearances.
A fun book to read aloud with a kid because of all the different voices.